REPORT Nº 98/03*
On April 1, 1993, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the
“Commission”) received a petition from Timothy Cooper on behalf of the
Statehood Solidarity Committee (the “Petitioners”) against the
Government of the
2. The petition alleged that all efforts to invoke available internal remedies had failed, that all domestic remedies had been exhausted, and therefore that the petition was admissible. The petition also alleged that the United States was responsible for violations of Articles II (right to equality before law) and XX (right to vote and to participate in government) of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man in connection with the inability of citizens of the District of Colombia to vote for and elect members of the U.S. Congress.
The State has contended that the Petitioners’ petition is inadmissible
for failure to exhaust domestic remedies before the courts in the
4. As set forth in this report, having examined the information and arguments provided by the parties on the question of admissibility, and without prejudging the merits of the matter, the Commission decided to admit the present petition in respect of Articles II and XX of the American Declaration. In addition, after having examined the merits of the Petitioners’ claims, the Commission concluded that the State is responsible for violations of the Petitioners’ rights under Articles II and XX of the American Declaration by denying the Petitioners an effective opportunity to participate in their federal legislature.
II. PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE COMMISSION
5. Following the lodging of the Petitioners’ petition on April 1, 1993, the Commission, by communications to the State and to the Petitioners dated May 28, 1993 and September 16, 1993, granted the Petitioners a hearing on their complaint, scheduled to take place on October 4, 1993. In addition, on or about September 1, 1993 the Petitioners delivered to the Commission a document entitled "Communication to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights from the Petitioner, the Statehood Solidarity Committee, Concerning the Admissibility of its Petition of April 1, 1993." The Commission subsequently transmitted the pertinent parts of this document to the State by note dated November 14, 1994.
6. The hearing before the Commission was convened on October 4, 1993. During the proceeding, the Petitioners presented oral submissions regarding the admissibility and merits of the complaint, and provided the Commission with documents regarding attempts to exhaust domestic remedies and the exercise of Congressional authority over the District of Columbia. Following the hearing, the Petitioners delivered to the Commission a further document concerning the exhaustion of their complaints dated October 12, 1993 and entitled “Memorandum on Exhaustion.”
7. Subsequently, on October 18, 1993 the Commission decided to open Case Nº 11.204 in respect of the Petitioners' complaint and transmitted the pertinent parts of the petition to the State, with a request that the State provide information with respect to the communication within 90 days as established by the Commission's prior Regulations.  By note of the same date, the Commission informed the Petitioners that these steps had been taken and that they would be advised of any reply that the State might make.
8. By communication dated January 14, 1994, the State requested an extension of time to February 15, 1994 in order to prepare a response to the Petitioners' petition. Subsequently, by communication dated February 15, 1994, the State requested a further extension of time to March 17, 1994 to review the Petitioners' petition and to prepare a response, and in a further communication dated March 18, 1994, requested an extension of time to April 18, 1994 within which to respond to the Petitioners' petition. By note dated March 29, 1994, the Commission granted the State's request.
9. By note dated April 25, 1994, the State delivered to the Commission observations on the Petitioners' petition. In a note dated May 13, 1994, the Commission transmitted the pertinent parts of the State's observations to the Petitioners, with a response requested within 30 days.
10. In a letter dated June 13, 1994, the Petitioners requested an extension of time of one month within which to respond to the State's April 25, 1994 observations, which the Commission granted by note dated July 14, 2000.
11. The Petitioners subsequently delivered to the Commission by communication dated July 18, 1994 a response to the State's observations on their petition. In a note dated July 21, 1994, the Commission transmitted the pertinent parts of the Petitioners' response to the State, with observations requested within 60 days.
12. In a communication dated September 19, 1994, the State requested that certain discrepancies between the Petitioners' response and documents in the State's possession relating to the case be clarified and that the State be granted an extension of time of 60 days from the date of clarification of those discrepancies within which to reply to the Petitioners' response.
13. By note dated November 14, 1994, the Commission provided the State with responses to its requests for clarification and granted the State an extension of time of 60 days within which to reply to the Petitioners' response. Subsequently, in a communication dated December 23, 1994, the State requested a further extension of time to January 27, 1995 within which to reply to the Petitioners' response.
14. In a letter to the Commission dated December 20, 1994, the Petitioners requested a second hearing in the matter, which the Commission granted by note dated January 20, 1995. This hearing was subsequently held on February 3, 1995 during the Commission's 88th Period of Sessions. Representatives of the Petitioners and the State attended the hearing and made representations to the Commission on the admissibility and merits of the petition. In addition, the Petitioners presented several witnesses in support of their claims, including District of Columbia House of Representatives Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, George Washington University Professor Kenneth Bowling and American University Professor Jamin Raskin.
By communication dated February 7, 1995, the Petitioners provided the
Commission with additional information on domestic proceedings before
16. By further note to the Petitioners dated February 23, 1995 and as part of its consideration of the case, the Commission requested certain information respecting the exhaustion of domestic remedies in connection with the Petitioners’ claims. The Petitioners responded to the Commission's request by communication dated April 18, 1995, the pertinent parts of which the Commission transmitted to the State by note dated April 21, 1995, with a response requested within 30 days. In a note dated May 17, 1995, the Commission reiterated its request for information from the State.
17. In communications dated September 19 and September 20, 1995, receipt of which the Commission acknowledged in a note dated October 11, 1995, the Petitioners delivered to the Commission further information on the merits of their complaint.
18. By letter dated November 7, 1995, the Petitioners delivered to the Commission further observations in the case, the pertinent parts of which the Commission subsequently transmitted to the State by note dated December 14, 1995, with a response requested within 30 days. In a further note dated June 5, 1996, the Petitioners provided the Commission with additional information concerning Congressional authority over the District of Columbia.
19. In a communication dated September 11, 1996, the Commission reiterated its request to the State for information concerning the case, with a response requested within 30 days. By communication dated October 17, 1996, the State informed the Commission that it had nothing further to add to the Petitioners' observations by way of response.
20. By subsequent communications dated September 18, 1996, December 3, 1996 and December 10, 1996, the Petitioners delivered additional observations to the Commission concerning the decisions of domestic courts in the cases of Darby v. United States and Albaugh v. Tawes. In a further communication dated April 30, 1997, the Petitioners delivered to the Commission additional observations in the case, the pertinent parts of which the Commission subsequently transmitted to the State on September 19, 1997, with a response requested within 30 days.
21. The Petitioners provided the Commission with additional information concerning the exhaustion of domestic remedies in relation to the case of Frank E. Howard v. State Administration Board of Election Laws et al. in a communication dated January 19, 1998. In a further letter to the Commission dated December 4, 1998, the Petitioners delivered to the Commission a document entitled "Memorandum on Exhaustion," which the Commission subsequently transmitted to the State by note dated August 17, 1999, with a response requested within 30 days. Similarly, by communication dated April 25, 2000, the Petitioners provided the Commission with additional information respecting their petition, which the Commission subsequently transmitted to the State by note dated April 27, 2000, with a response requested within 30 days.
22. In a note dated June 22, 2000, the State responded to the Commission's communication of April 27, 2000, in which it reiterated its position that the situation described in the Petitioners' petition did not involve a human rights violation and was therefore inadmissible under Articles 37 and 41 of the Commission's Regulations, and that the State had nothing further to submit on the case. The Commission transmitted the pertinent parts of the State's response to the Petitioners by note dated June 23, 2000, with a response requested within 30 days.
23. By letter dated October 17, 2000, the Petitioners provided the Commission with additional information respecting their petition. The letter indicated in particular that on October 16, 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court had affirmed a U.S. District three-judge court decision in two related cases, Adams v. Clinton and Alexander et al. v. Daley, denying D.C. residents full Congressional representation and equal protection under the law. By communication dated October 23, 2000, the Commission acknowledged receipt of the Petitioners' communication.
24. Subsequently, in a letter dated February 26, 2001, the Petitioners delivered additional observations on the admissibility of the claims in their petition. By note dated May 22, 2001, the Commission transmitted the pertinent parts of the Petitioners’ observations to the State, with a response requested within 30 days. In a further letter dated August 15, 2001, the Petitioners delivered to the Commission a memorandum on remedies for the complaints raised in their petition.
25. In notes to the State and the Petitioners dated August 21, 2001, the Commission placed itself at the disposal of the parties pursuant to Article 41 of its Rules of Procedure with a view to reaching a friendly settlement of the complaint. The Commission requested a response to its offer within 10 days, in default of which it would continue with consideration of the matter. By letter dated August 24, 2001, the Petitioners informed the Commission that in light of the past reticence of the United States to engage in any meaningful dialogue with the Statehood Solidarity Committee with regard to their case, they were of the view that accepting the Commission’s proposal would only serve to delay the resolution of the matter and therefore that they declined the Commission’s offer.
III. POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES
A. Position of the Petitioners
26. The Petitioners contend that their case is admissible in accordance with the Commission’s Rules of Procedure. With respect to the issue of exhaustion of domestic remedies, the Petitioners claim that all efforts by them to invoke available remedies have failed and therefore that all local remedies have been exhausted.
27. In particular, the Petitioners claim that as early as 1846, the residents of the District of Columbia have attempted to invoke political and judicial mechanisms to remedy their absence of representation in the U.S. Congress,  and that numerous legislative means and accommodations have since been attempted in order to address the issue of representation in the District.  The Petitioners indicate that more recently, District residents were permitted to elect a non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives in 1970, and in 1973 Congress enacted limited "home rule" for the District, permitting the popular election of a mayor and city council, but retaining the exclusive authority of Congress over the affairs of the District. The Petitioners further note in this regard that an attempt was made in 1992 to provide the District's non-voting delegate in the House of Representatives with the power to vote on all substantive legislation before Congress by enhancing under the House Rules the delegate's voting power in the Committee of the Whole. However, according to the Petitioners this effort failed to afford the delegate with an effective vote, by depriving the delegate of a vote when his or her vote may be "decisive" on a matter.
28. Other political and legislative efforts referred to by the Petitioners to secure Congressional representation for District of Columbia residents include a "Voting Rights Amendment" to the U.S. Constitution proposed in 1978, that sought to provide voting representation to the residents of the District of Columbia, but which failed to achieve the required ratification of 3/4 of State legislatures. Also according to the Petitioners, attempts were made in 1992 and 1993 through bills in the House of Representatives and Senate to create a state out of the non-federal areas of the District of Columbia, without success.
29. The Petitioners have also provided information with respect to unsuccessful efforts made through the domestic courts to obtain a remedy for their absence of representation in Congress.
30. The Petitioners refer in this regard to decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court that have concluded that the power of Congress over the District of Columbia is expansive.  They cite in particular that Court's decision in the case Binns v. United States,  in which the Supreme Court proclaimed that "Congress, in the government of the territories as well as the District of Columbia, has plenary power, save as controlled by the provisions of the Constitution". 
31. The Petitioners have also relied upon cases in which individual claimants have specifically challenged Congressional authority over the District, based upon the absence of effective representation of District residents in the House of Representatives and Senate. In particular, the Petitioners refer to the case of E. Scott Frison et al. v. U.S. et al.,  in which the claimants charged that the United States had denied the citizens of the District of Columbia the right to vote in elections for Senators and Members of the House of Representatives and sought to preclude Congress from taking any actions that reduced the "status, autonomy, or fiscal support" of the District. In a January 31, 1995 judgment, the Court affirmed that it lacked jurisdiction over the subject matter of the litigation and noted that "under the Constitution the people of the District of Columbia - which is not a State - are not entitled to vote for Senators or Representatives." A motion for reconsideration was denied on May 12, 1995, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia dismissed the claimants’ appeal on October 4, 1995.
32. The Petitioners have also cited the case of Darby v. U.S.,  in which the claimant, a member of the Statehood Solidarity Committee, argued that courts established by Congress under Article 1, section 8 of the U.S. Constitution were created unconstitutionally, because, inter alia, District of Columbia residents were denied the right to representation in Congress in violation of their Fourteenth Amendment  rights. According to the Petitioners, the Court rejected the claimant's arguments based upon the fact that the "scope of Congressional power over the District of Columbia is expansive," and also rejected the claim that the residents of the District of Columbia were entitled under the U.S. Constitution to a republican form of government. The Petitioners indicate that the claimant also failed on appeal, and that the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari on December 9, 1996. Along a similar line, the Petitioners referred to the cases of Hobson v. Tobiner,  and Carlina v. Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia,  in which residents of the District of Columbia alleged violations of their constitutional rights, including their rights under the Ninth,  Tenth  and Fifteenth  Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. According to the Petitioners, the courts found these constitutional claims to be insubstantial, in part because they considered questions regarding the republican form of government for the District of Columbia to be political and not judicial in nature and therefore for the consideration of Congress and not the courts.
33. Most recently, the Petitioners have cited the consolidated cases of Lois E. Adams v. Clinton and Clifford Alexander et al. v. Daley,  in which the claimants, 75 residents of the District of Columbia together with the District of Columbia itself, challenged the denial of their right to elect representatives to the Congress of the United States as violating their rights to equal protection of the law and to a republican form of government under the provisions of the Fifth  and Fourteenth  Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. In rejecting the claim, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia indicated that it was “not blind to the inequities of the situation the plaintiffs seek to change.” It nevertheless held that "long standing judicial precedent, as well as the Constitution's text and history, persuade us that this court lacks authority to grant plaintiffs the relief they seek." According to the Petitioners, the Court also confirmed previous findings that the residents of the District of Columbia do not have the right to vote of Members of Congress, and emphasized that the District was not a state and that Congressional representation was deeply tied to the structure of statehood. Further, the Court observed that "many courts have found a contradiction between the democratic ideals upon which this country was founded and the exclusion of District residents from Congressional representation. All, however, have concluded that it is the Constitution and judicial precedent that create the contradiction." By communication dated October 17, 2000, the Petitioners informed the Commission that on October 16, 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the District Court's decision.
34. In addition to the above precedents, the Petitioners have cited cases in which the claimants have argued that the District of Columbia should be considered a part of the State of Maryland for the purpose of electing members of Congress. They refer, for example, to the case of Albaugh v. Tawes,  in which a resident of the District of Columbia filed a suit claiming that the District was still part of the state of Maryland for the purpose of electing U.S. Senators. The Court rejected this claim based upon the Congressional power over the District of Columbia under the Organic Act of 1801 and Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution. Similarly, the Petitioners cited the case of Frank E. Howard v. Maryland Administrative Board of Election Laws et al.,  in which the Court found that the claimant had no right to participate in congressional elections in the State of Maryland.
Based upon the above observations, the Petitioners contend that they
have satisfied the requirement under Article 37 of the Commission's
prior Regulations, now Article 31 of the Commission’s current Rules of
Procedure, that domestic remedies be exhausted. In particular,
they argue that a challenge to the absence of effective legislative
representation of residents of the District of Columbia would at base be futile, because it would require a court
to find a provision of the U.S. Constitution to be "unconstitutional,"
which the Petitioners claim is not possible. Accordingly, the
Petitioners argue that the domestic legislation of the
36. In addition
and in the alternative, the Petitioners claim that they have exhausted
any effective remedies that may be considered to exist in the
37. With respect to the timeliness requirements of Article 32 of the Commission’s Rules of Procedure, the Petitioners claim that the violations alleged in their petition are continuing in nature, and therefore that the six-month rule is not applicable. 
38. In relation to the provisions on duplication of petitions under Article 39 of the Commission's prior Regulations, now Article 33 of the Commission’s Rules of Procedure, the Petitioners have contended that no other petition or complaint raising the allegations in their petition is pending in any other forum, nor have the violations been previously considered by the Commission.
Finally, based upon their arguments on the merits of the case as
summarized below, the Petitioners contend, contrary to the submissions
of the State, that their petition is not manifestly groundless.
Rather, they argue that the circumstances in their complaint disclose
violations of Articles II and XX of the American Declaration
attributable to the
2. Merits of the Petitioners' Claims
40. In their petition and subsequent observations, the Petitioners contend that the State is responsible for violations of the right to equality under Article II of the American Declaration and the right to vote and to participate in government under Article XX of the American Declaration, in respect of the members of their organization and other residents of the District of Columbia.
More particularly, the Petitioners allege that as a consequence of
Article 1, paragraph 8 of the U.S. Constitution
and the Act of Congress that created the District of
Columbia in 1801,
the citizens of the District of Columbia are without
effective representation in the U.S. federal legislature, having no
representation in the U.S. Senate and no effective vote in the U.S.
House of Representatives. As a consequence, they claim that,
unlike citizens in all other states in the
42. Also in relation to Article II of the Declaration, the Petitioners cite statistics indicating that the population of the District of Columbia has evolved to encompass a majority of African-American citizens.  The Petitioners suggest that these statistics, when viewed in light of historical patterns of Congressional attitudinal behavior toward efforts to provide representation to the District of Columbia, indicate that the District’s status may be motivated by an animus against a particular racial group. The Petitioners further submit that, in any event, the appropriate test to determine the existence of discrimination under Article II of the Declaration is whether differential treatment is proved to be "reasonable" and that unreasonableness or injustice does not depend on the intent or motive of the party charged with discriminatory treatment. 
In the Petitioners’ view, applying this test in the circumstances of
the present case leads to the result that the United States Government
imposes an unjustified and arbitrary distinction upon the people of
the District of Columbia which lacks a legitimate aim and an objective
justification, and that this differential treatment bears no
relationship of proportionality between the means employed and the aim
sought to be realized.
To the contrary, the Petitioners claim that the
differential treatment is detrimental to the residents of the District
of Columbia, and cannot be properly justified by reference to the
arguments of the framers of the U.S. Constitution at the time of the
forming of the Republic over 200 years ago relating to the physical
security of the federal seat of government.
The Petitioners note in this regard that
according to the Department of Defense, as of
February 28, 1994
there were 1,607,844 men and women employed by the Armed Services of
44. Further, the
Petitioners argue that the members of the Statehood Solidarity
Committee and other citizens of the District of Columbia are denied
representation in their country's government through freely-elected
representatives contrary to Article XX of the Declaration, as they
have no meaningful representation in the federal House of
Representatives and no representation whatsoever in the Senate.
As a result, the Petitioners claim that they are excluded from
participating in national and international policy-making decisions
and cannot vote through their representatives on issues of national
and local concern, such as tax policies, economic plans and health
care legislation. In the Petitioners' view, full Congressional
representation is a prerequisite for participation in the national
government of the
The Petitioners point out generally in this regard that no other
constitution in the
46. Similarly, the Petitioners contend that properly guaranteeing the rights protected under Article XX of the American Declaration requires the effective exercise of dynamic political power through representatives in a representative democracy. Accordingly, the Petitioners argue that the interpretation of "participation" provided by the State, which includes, for example, the presence of a shadow delegate for the District in the House of Representatives without full voting rights constitutes less than complete participation and should not be accepted as sufficient to guarantee the rights under Article XX of the Declaration.
47. The Petitioners also suggest that recent Commission jurisprudence supports the merits of their claims. They argue, for example, that their claims are similar to those in the case Andres Aylwin Azocar et al. v. Chile,  in which the complainants argued that Chile was responsible for violations of the right to participate in government and to equal protection of the law under Articles 23(1)(c) and 24 of the American Convention based upon the senator-for-life provisions of the Chilean Constitution. The Commission ultimately found these complaints to be admissible and, in a majority decision, substantiated on the merits. Moreover, the Petitioners claim that the dissenting opinion in the Aylwin merits decision should not be considered to affect the admissibility of their claims, because, in the Petitioners’ view, the claims in the present case satisfy even the more restrictive test articulated by the dissenting member regarding the circumstances under which the Commission may properly interfere in the institutional structures of a state, namely when those structures “impede the effective expression of the will of the citizens in a manifestly arbitrary manner.”
48. The Petitioners likewise refer to the Commission’s admissibility decisions in the cases of Rios Montt v. Guatemala  and Susana Higuchi Miyagawa v. Peru  and the authorities relied upon by the Commission in those decisions, and suggest that the Commission’s treatment of the issues in those cases support the admissibility and substance of the claims in their petition. For example, the Petitioners contend that unlike the situation in the Montt Case, in which the Commission observed that the institutional structures at issue in that case were not uncommon and could be found elsewhere throughout the Americas, the District of Columbia is the only federal enclave in the Americas in which residents are denied effective representation in the national legislature. In respect of the Higuchi Case, in which the petitioner alleged the Peruvian government’s responsibility for violations of Article 23 of the Convention for preventing her from standing for election as a candidate for the independent group “Armonía-Frempol” for the Democratic Constituent Congress of her country, the Petitioners emphasize the Commission’s reliance in that case upon the principle that states may not invoke domestic law, constitutional or otherwise, to justify nonfulfillment of their international obligations. 
Based upon the foregoing submissions, the Petitioners argue that their
claims are admissible and that they substantiate violations of their
rights under Articles II and XX of the American Declaration for which
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* Commission Member Professor Robert K. Goldman did not take part in the discussion and voting on this case, pursuant to Article 17(2) of the Commission's Rules of Procedure.
 An appendix to the Petitioners' April 1, 1993 petition named 22 members of the Statehood Solidarity Committee, all of whom were identified as residents of the District of Columbia: Linda Allen, James Stroud, Mark Thompson, Josephine Butler, Christopher Echols, Lorrie Johnson, Mauro Montoya, James Belnap, Nancy Belnap, Michael Bustamonte, Jo Cooper, Carla Darby, Susan Griffin, Charles Mayo, Terrell Jones, Rena Johnson, Bob Artiste, John Capozzi, Pamela Hughes, James Dixon, James Johnson, and Gloria Freeman.
 During its 109th special session in December 2000, the Commission approved the Rules of Procedure of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which replaced the Commission’s prior Regulations of April 8, 1980. In accordance with Article 78 of the Rules of Procedure, the Rules entered into force on May 1, 2001.
 Petitioners' Petition of April 1, 1993, pp. 5-6 (indicating that in 1846, a petition was presented in Congress on behalf of the retroceding Alexandria city and county of Virginia “decrying” their absence of representation in Congress).
 Id., pp. 4-5 (describing numerous political structures developed within the District of Columbia between 1802 and 1973, including a mayor and a twelve member city council appointed by the US President in 1802, the granting to the District by Congress of a non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives in 1971, and a Presidentially-appointed commission in 1874.).
 Petitioners' Observations of April 18, 1995, p. 2.
 Id., at 491-2. The Petitioners also refer to the U.S. Supreme Court's earlier decision in Loughborough v. Blake, 18 U.S. 317 (1820).
 E. Scott Frison et al. v. U.S. et al., Civil Action Nº 95-0007HGG (U.S.D.C. for D.C., 1995).
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides: “Section 1. All persons
born or naturalized in the
 Hobson v. Tobiner, 255 F Sup 295 (1966).
 Carlina v. Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia, 265 F Supp. 736 (1967).
 The Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides: “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
The Tenth Amendment
to the U.S. Constitution provides: “The powers not delegated to the
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides: “Section 1. The right of
citizens of the
 Lois E. Adams v. Clinton, Clifford Alexander et al. v. Daley, Case Nos. 98-1665, 98-2187, (U.S. D.C. - D.C.).
 The Fifth Amendment to the US Constitutions provides “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
 Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, supra.
 Albaugh v. Tawes, 233 F. Supp. 576 (D. Md.), aff'd 379 U.S. 27 (1964).
 Frank E. Howard v. Maryland Administrative Board of Election Laws et al., (D.C. of Maryland) (Case Nº 97-937), aff'd U.S.C.A. for the Fifth Circuit September 9, 1997, certiorari denied January 12, 1998 (U.S.S.C.).
 Petitioners' Observations dated April 18, 1995, p. 7, citing, inter alia, Forest of Central Rhodope case (1933) (Greece v. Bulgaria), 3 U.N.R.I.A.A. at 105, for the proposition that where a national law justifying the violations of which the victims complain will have to be applied by the local organs or courts and thereby render recourse to them futile, local remedies need not be exhausted.
 Petitioners' Observations, dated September 7, 1993, p. 6, citing De Becker v. Belgium, App. Nº 214/56, 1958 Yearbook of the Eur. Conv. H.R., Vol. II, at 236-38, for the proposition that the six-month rule cannot be considered to apply when the complaint concerns a legal provision which involves a permanent state of affairs for which there is no domestic remedy.
Article 1, paragraph
8 of the U.S. Constitution provides in part that the Congress shall
have Power "to exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever,
over such District [over the District of Columbia]".
This provision has been interpreted as providing Congress with
governing authority over the District of Columbia. See Adams v.
Clinton, supra, at 22 (indicating that "it is clear that the
ultimate legislature the Constitution envisions for the District is
not a city council, but rather Congress itself. The District
Clause expressly grants Congress the power to 'exercise exclusive
Legislation in all Cases whatsoever' over the district that would
become the seat of government."). See also Binns v.
 Organic Act of 1801, 2 Stat. 103 (1801).
 Petitioners’ observations dated July 18, 1994, p. 33 (indicating that by 1959, when Washington, D.C. became the first majority black city in North American, the African-American population was 55 percent, and that as of 1994 the African-American population had grown to 66 percent).
 Petitioner’s Observations dated July 10, 1994, pp. 10-11, citing South West Africa Case (Second Phase), ICJ Reports (1966), dissenting judgment of Judge Tanaka.
 Id., paras. 12-13, citing Belgium Linguistics Case, Judgment, 23 July 1968, The Law, I.B, para. 10, Yearbook of the Eur. Conv. H.R. 1968 (II) at 662.
 Id., p. 14, citing, inter alia, Kenneth R. Bowling, Creating the Federal City 1774-1800: Potomac Fever (the American Institute of Architects Press, 1988), for the proposition that providing the U.S. Congress with control over the federal district was less a question of concern over State pressure and influence and more a question of physical security.
 Petitioners’ observations dated July 18, 1994, pp. 17-19.
 Petitioners’ observations dated April 30, 1997, citing Charles Wesley Harris, Congress and the Governance of the Nation’s Capital: The Conflict of Federal and Local Interests (1995).
Andres Aylwin Azocar
et al. v.
Rios Montt v.
 Petitioners’ Observations dated February 26, 2001, pp. 10-11.